The Languedoc growers have long been planning a structuring of the different appellations in a hierarchy. Earlier they planned to have a top appellation category called “grand cru”. However, they were rapped on the knuckles by the INAO. Grand cru, they may not use. When I was recently in the Languedoc for their annual primeur tasting they presented the new plan, a division into three levels:
- A regional appellation, ie Languedoc, as a base level
- A “grand vin” category, for the sub-districts within the Languedoc, for example Corbières and Minervois.
- A top category called “cru” (without the “grand”!) for the sub-areas of the sub-regions, e.g. La Livinière within Minervois.
They also have plans for a whole plethora of new appellations, 36 new AOPs to come.
We are very critical of this fragmentation. It is infinitely more important to find good producer rather than if the vineyard happens to be a “grand vin” or “cru”. That is totally evident to anyone who tasted all the many hundreds of wines on show. The whole system seems designed to confuse consumers, particularly as it will not be mandatory to write in big letters “Languedoc” on all labels. Too bad when you think of how many fantastic wines are made here.
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